The Current

Upstream Arts News
August 2016  

Hello, New Subscribers! 
Welcome! We hope you'll enjoy this monthly update on all things Upstream Arts. We only include highlights here, so be sure to keep tabs on our website to learn more about our multidisciplinary arts programs for people with disabilities at every stage of life, as well as public trainings and events.
white question mark on black backdrop
Coming Soon: New Logo!
In recent years, and in light of our 10 Year Anniversary, Upstream Arts has been reflecting a lot on where we've been, where we're going, what we value - and gradually updating our visual identity accordingly. As part of this process, we will be unveiling a brand new logo this fall! We can't wait to share it with you. Stay tuned for the rollout, which will begin in the next six weeks or so, and rest assured that while our look is evolving, nothing at Upstream Arts is changing. Rather, we are striving to be even more true to the mission, vision, values, and culture that you know and love, through all aspects of our programming, communications, and design.
Year of the Teaching Artist
Upstream Arts is hereforth declaring 2016-17 to be the Year of the Teaching Artist! Artists are truly the backbone of our work and, we believe, some of society's most important agents for social change and inclusion. This year, we're celebrating the incredible work of our Teaching Artists, both within and beyond Upstream Arts programming, even more than usual through our website, social media, email newsletter, and some special live events, to be announced soon. Join us by sending along some of your favorite experiences with Upstream Arts Teaching Artists! You can share on Facebook or Twitter, send an email to, or call us at (612) 331-4584.

Join the Conversation 
In this corner of The Current, we share videos, articles, and other resources related to our disability is not a four-letter word campaign.
This month, we're adoring the artistry and advocacy work of Duluth-based musician Gaelynn Lea, winner of National Public Radio's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. In addition to playing shows in Minnesota and across the country, Gaelynn is a public speaker who talks eloquently about disability awareness and pride. Click here to watch a video in which she  sums up many of our own shared values, then sings a gorgeous song to boot.

Check it out and then let us know: How does Gaelynn's story connect with your own experiences? We'd love to hear from you! 
Painting created collaboratively by Upstream Arts participants
Dear Friend, 
This month in The Current, we're excited to share:
  • A new video about Upstream Arts
  • How Upstream Arts is advancing inclusion per the Minnesota Olmstead Plan and related legislation
  • A heads-up about a new logo in the works
  • Our declaration of the Year of the Teaching Artist
  • A great disability awareness talk by musician Gaelynn Lea 
  • Gratitude for recent gifts, including one especially delightful surprise 
  • An update on our current fundraising goal
As ever, we're so grateful to have you in our community. Enormous thanks for all that you do!
Julie, Matt, Bree, and everyone at Upstream Arts
Upstream Arts' new 5-minute video
New Video About Upstream Arts
We're excited beyond words to share a brand new 5-minute video about Upstream Arts! If you who attended our 10th Anniversary celebration this past May, you saw an early version of it; but now it's even more jam-packed with interviews, images, and footage from our programs. This video was created Mary Falowo, Bailey Johnson, and Emmy Sutherland, students in the HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) program "Making Media, Making Change" in partnership with St. Paul Neighborhood Network. The course immerses college students from campuses across the Twin Cities in the socal media justice landscape and allows them to develop their skills as media activists and filmmakers. We couldn't be more honored to collaborate! Click here to watch the video on YouTube and then let us know what you think.
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and Paticipants dancing at OP
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and participants dancing at Opportunity Partners, Koch Campus (photo: Tena May Gallivan)
The Art of Community Inclusion
"Tammy’s Case Manager said that Tammy has grown immensely with Upstream Arts; so much so that, after seven years of being known as 'The Dishwasher Queen,' Tammy has gone beyond her comfort zone and asked to learn a different work position. [OP] attributes this development to the Upstream Arts class."
This anecdote comes from a report by Tena May, one of our Teaching Artists, following an Upstream Arts session at Opportunity Partners (OP), an Adult Day Program that, for the past 60 years, has provided social enrichment and innovative career development services to adults with disabilities. Since our inception in 2006, Upstream Arts has partnered with Adult Day Programs like OP to offer programming that uses arts-based strategies to create safe venues for individuals with disabilities to hone social/emotional and communication skills vital to all different areas of life. In recent years, we have begun strategizing with our partners about how we could deepen this work in light of changing priorities and legislation at both the Federal and State levels. Click here to read more.
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and Participants dancing
Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and participants at Highland Friendship Club (Photo: Matt Guidry)
Gratitude & The Work Ahead
Big thanks to our dedicated supporters Justin Lansing, Marilyn Mounger, The Graham Smith Team, Gillian Spence, Becky Timm, and two anonymous donors for recent new gifts.
Special thanks also to Crowne Prince, Purple Tinker, and all at Horses at Home Con who supported our work through a delightful surprise fundraiser this summer! Click here for the full story.
As we mentioned last month, moving through our 10th Anniversary, we again have a big goal of raising $100,00 in individual contributions by June 30. That's how much it will take to sustain this year's programs, which are in higher demand than ever before.
To this end, we have a mini goal of securing 5 donations of $150 in the next two weeks, subsidizing the cost of a new Art of Working program for 15 adults with disabilities like Tammy in the post above. Could you be 1 of 5 all-star supporters to make a tax-deductible contribution to Upstream Arts today?
Click here to give online, call (612) 331-4584 to donate by phone; or visit our website to learn about other ways to support. We're so grateful for your partnership. Thanks for all that you do!
Click to Donate Now
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